CSK vs Titans brace for first meeting since epic final, New captains in the spotlight

Titans have five Tamil Nadu players – Sai Sudharsan, Sai Kishore, Vijay Shankar, Shahrukh Khan and Sandeep Warrier – but CSK have none
Todays Match details
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) vs Gujarat Titans (GT)
Chennai, 1930 IST

Big picture: Gaikwad vs Gill

When Chennai Super Kings ran into Gujarat Titans in a bizarre three-day rain-hit final in IPL 2023, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya were in charge of the teams, respectively. Shubman Gill took over Titans’ captaincy after Hardik had moved back to Mumbai Indians in what is arguably the biggest player trade in IPL history.

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Then, on the eve of the IPL season-opener, Ruturaj Gaikwad was announced as CSK’s new captain. Gill’s expression at the captains’ conference was roughly how most of Chennai reacted to Dhoni handing over the captaincy to Gaikwad. Gill and Gaikwad, the most inexperienced Indian captains in the IPL, will now face each other at Chepauk on Tuesday.
IPL 2024 | Shubhman Gill | Gujarat Titans | Rituraj Gaikward | Chennai Super Kings
In Frame: Captain Subhman Gill (GT), Captain Rituraj Gaikward (CSK) | CSK
Gill and Gaikwad have already grabbed the headlines with their captaincy. After Titans snatched victory from Mumbai Indians’ grasp in Ahmedabad on Sunday, their debutant Spencer Johnson talked up Gill’s leadership, saying the captain sat alongside him on the bus to help calm his nerves in the lead-up to the game. As for Gaikwad, he rifled through fielding changes in his first game as IPL captain, and one such change, which involved extra-cover moving to sweeper cover, brought CSK their first wicket.

Chennai vs Team Chennai!

The other interesting subplot in this game is the Chennai boys vs Chennai Super Kings. Titans have as many as five Tamil Nadu players in their side – Sai Sudharsan, Sai Kishore, Vijay Shankar, Shahrukh Khan and Sandeep Warrier. Among the quintet, Sudharsan, Kishore and Vijay are set to slot into Titans’ XI or XII (accounting for the Impact Player). Sudharsan, Kishore and Vijay all have been part of CSK or Junior Super Kings, their grassroots programme. And back in the day, Shahrukh used to be a ball boy at Chepauk for IPL matches. In contrast, CSK don’t have a single local player in their main squad.
Sai Sudharsan | IPL 2024 | Gujarat Titans
Sai Sudharsan should start if Gujarat Titans bat first | GT

Team news: Pathirana links up with CSK

Sri Lanka’s death-bowling specialist Matheesha Pathirana has joined CSK’s squad in Chennai, but it remains to be seen if he will be rushed into action after having suffered a hamstring injury. Mustafizur Rahman, who marked his CSK debut with four wickets in a space of ten balls in the season-opener, could keep his place in the team ahead of Pathirana.
MS Dhoni | IPL | CSK
MS Dhoni has hit Umesh Yadav for 68 runs off 38 balls in seven IPL innings• BCCI

Toss and Impact Player strategy

If CSK bat first, Shivam Dube should start, with Mustafizur coming in as an Impact Player in the second innings. It could be vice-versa if CSK bowl first.
Chennai Super Kings
Possible bat-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Sameer Rizvi, 8 MS Dhoni (wk), 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Maheesh Theekshana, 11 Tushar Deshpande
Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Ruturaj Gaikwad (capt), 2 Rachin Ravindra, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Ravindra Jadeja, 6 Sameer Rizvi, 7 MS Dhoni (wk), 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Tushar Deshpande, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Gujarat Titans
Having won their first match of the season, Titans might persist with the same XI and Impact Player strategy. Sudharsan should start if they bat first, and could be replaced by Mohit Sharma or one of the bowlers. And it could be vice-versa if Titans bowl first.
Possible bat-first XI: 1 Shubman Gill (capt), 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Sai Sudharsan, 4 Azmatullah Omarzai, 5 Vijay Shankar, 6 David Miller, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 R Sai Kishore, 11 Spencer Johnson
Possible bowl-first XI: 1 Shubman Gill (capt), 2 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 3 Azmatullah Omarzai, 4 Vijay Shankar, 5 David Miller, 6 Rahul Tewatia, 7 Rashid Khan, 8 Umesh Yadav, 9 R Sai Kishore, 10 Spencer Johnson, 11 Mohit Sharma

Stats that matter

MS Dhoni | CSK | IPL 2024 | Ashish Nehra | GT
In Frame: MS Dhoni and Ashish Nehra, A Captain Talks | GT
  • Gaikwad has a strong head-to-head record against Rashid Khan in the IPL: 95 runs off 60 balls in seven innings at an average of 47.5, and a strike rate of 158.3. Only Sanju Samson (111) has scored more runs than Gaikwad against Rashid in the IPL.
  • Ajinkya Rahane’s first-ten balls strike-rate since the start of IPL 2023 is 158.3. In comparison, his first-ten balls strike-rate between 2018 and 2020 was just 85.1.
  • Dhoni has hit Umesh Yadav for 68 runs off 38 balls in seven IPL innings with just one dismissal at a strike-rate of nearly 180.
  • Since IPL 2023, Titans’ seamers have taken 25 wickets in the powerplay at an economy rate of 8.35. No other team has picked up more wickets in the first six overs during this period. Azmatullah Omarzai, a genuine swing bowler from Afghanistan, has strengthened Titans even further in this area